The annual Al-Quds Day rally took place in Toronto on June 1, 2019. The blog Blazing Cat Fur documented participants holding a sign that read: “Last Khayber is ready… so as last as Hayder.” The sign features the Dome of the Rock Mosque, a pigeon with an olive branch and a dagger.
The Facebook page Shia Muslim explains the historic context of the Battle of Khayber (628 AC) and the role of Ali (the “Lion” – Hayder) in fighting the Jewish community of Khayber.
Do you know who is ‘HAIDER’? #Ahlulbayt_Quotes
Marhab’s mother had had a dream in her youth and when Marhab was only a baby. In her dream she had seen that a lion had killed her son. Because of that dream, she always used to say to her son (when he had grown up and had become a renowned fighter in Arabia): Son, never fight a man whose name resembles the meaning of ‘lion’ !!!
Marhab was a strong fighter among jews and people fear even on hearing his name. He used to challange people for combat.
In the battle of Khaber Marhab challenged the Prophet of Allah (saww) to sent someone to fight him. It makes the Muslim shiver but the Prophet (saww) smiled and he gave the banner of Islam in the hands of Imam Ali (as).
Marhab advanced brandishing his sword and chanting:
Khaibar knows certainly that I am Marhab,
A fully armed and well-tried valorous warrior (hero),
When war comes spreading its flames.
Ali (AS) chanted in reply:
I am the one whose MOTHER named him ‘HAIDER’, I am the lion of the valley, I am the great lion, the lion who attacks his prey by chasing it.
It shook Marhab with fear as he remembered his Mother advice. But he still attacked at Imam Ali (as). After resisting his attack Imam Ali (as) struck at the head of Mirhab with his ZULFIKAR (sword) and his body got divided into two equal parts. So the victory (capture of Khaibar) was due to him. This long tradition has also been handed down through a different chain of transmitters.
Imam Ali(a.s.) led the Islamic forces to the strongest fort of Khyber named QAMOOS and when they came near, the battle was started by the Jews. One of their strongest man, Haris, attacked and martyred two Muslims after which Imam Ali(a.s.) took on Haris and killed him instantly. He faced the same fate as Marhab.
After this, general battle started. The Muslim forces fought with a lot of courage under the leadership of Imam Ali (a.s). Upon realizing that they were losing the battle, the Jews started running towards the fort and closed the huge iron gate of the fort from inside. This was the gate which used to be opened and closed by 40 strong men. Imam Ali(a.s.) alone lifted and broke the gate in one strong jolt. He then used the same gate to make a bridge on a trench so that the Islamic forces could enter the fort and conquer it.
The remaining frightful Jews cried of mercy and Imam Ali(a.s.) ordered to stop the battle and declare peace for them who had surrendered. One after the other, the muslim fighters under the leadership of Imam Ali(a.s.) conquered various forts of this stronghold and completed the grand victory of Islamic forces over the Jews.
As Imam Ali(a.s.) was coming down the hill, the Prophet of Islam waited to greet him. Suddenly from one side, J’afar bin Abi Talib appeared who was now returning from Abyssinnia (Habsha) after twelve years’ stay there. The Prophet was doubly pleased. He put his one arm round Imam Ali(a.s.)’s shoulder, the other round J’afar’s shoulder. He would look at Ali and then at J’afar and would say:I don’t know what makes me happier today, my brother Ali conquering the fort of Khyber or my brother J’afar returning from Habsha after twelve years. It was definitely one of the happiest moments in the life of te Prophet of Islam.
The hadeeth of Khyber is also the true manisfestation of Imam Ali(a.s.)’s personality. The Prophet had said before the battle of Khaiber: Tomorrow morning shall I give this banner to a MAN, who attacks repeatedly, and does not retreat. He loves Allah and his Rasool and Allah and His Rasool love him. Allah will give victory(FATAH) on his hands. Every companion was waiting to see the man Prophet (saww) trust so much. And it was Ali(as) to whom Prophet (saww) handed the banner of Islam.
There is not a single Companion for whom the Prophet of islam had fulfilled the prophecy of Allah’s love like that. It was reserved for Imam Ali(a.s.), and him alone. The Prophet had ascribed in so many words Imam Ali(a.s.)’s non-compromising attitude to his mission, and Imam Ali(a.s.)’s future life became a living proof to that.
Then the Prophet had used the word FATAH in his statement. This word is used in three different meaning is Arabic. The miracle of the Prophet’s speech is that all three meanings came true in this story.
Fatah means: 1. To open, 2. To conquer, and, 3. To begin
Imam Ali(a.s.) was victorious, he opened the closed gate of Khyber, and, the conquest of Khyber turned out to be the beginning of a long-lasting prosperity on the Muslim community.
Now you know who is ‘HAIDER’
See also The Conquest of Khyber and Battle of Khaybar.